NEWS | April 04, 2019

Dunham Teacher Kris Harrell Selected as Apple Distinguished Educator

The Dunham School is pleased to announce that Upper School teacher Kris Harrell has been selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) by Apple, Inc. This distinction recognizes educators who are transforming teaching and learning in their schools through their innovative use of technology in the classroom.

Harrell joins 550 new members, spanning 40 countries, in the ADE Class of 2019 and is 1 of only 4 ADEs in Louisiana. He follows Director of Innovation and Technology Nikole Blanchard as the second Dunham faculty member to earn this national recognition.

Harrell began teaching at Dunham in 2007, has taught both Middle and Upper School students in social studies, science and  physical education. For the past 8 years, he has taught World Civilizations to 9th grade students. A graduate of LSU, Harrell has been a designated Apple Teacher since 2016.

“The Apple Distinguished Educator community is made of innovative educators from around the world.  Kris is a pioneer and forward-thinking when it comes to transforming curriculum with technology. This recognition by Apple speaks to the level of excellence Kris brings to the classroom,” said Blanchard.

“The ADE recognition speaks to my growth mindset,” said Harrell, who is always looking for new tools to use in the classroom or innovative ways to use existing technologies.  “I am not afraid to try something new in the classroom because, no matter the outcome, I will learn something from it to help me grow as an educator.

Harrell’s favorite interactive classroom tools are Nearpod and iMovie. “Technology in the classroom allows me to empower my students by giving them a variety of outlets to showcase their learning. Every student learns differently, so I don’t think we should require students to demonstrate what they’ve learned in the same way all the time, “ Harrell said.  

“Combining tech tools with the Harkness method has made a positive impact in class. Students love talking about what they created and explaining the rationale behind diagrams, fake tweets, instagram posts, emoji translations, movie trailers and other tools. These serve as great conversation stimulators and segues into primary source analysis,” he added.

Apple’s ADE distinction offers Harrell national recognition as an education innovator and pioneer, who is using technology in the classroom to transform teaching and learning. He will join other ADEs from around the world for and intense week of training in Bethesda, Maryland this summer.

“To be named as an ADE is not only a professional honor for Kris, it is an honor for Dunham. Membership in the ADE community will open wonderful doors of opportunity for him, our teachers and students,” Blanchard added.

Apple created the ADE program in 1994 to recognize K-12 and higher educators who are using Apple technology in transformative ways. Celebrating 25 years, the program has grown into a worldwide community of more than 2,800 innovative leaders in education, helping other teachers rethink what is possible with classroom technology.